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Prime Video Takes a Dig at Netflix’s Password Sharing Crackdown on Twitter

NOTE: This article is 9 months old and may not include the most recent information.

In the ongoing battle for streaming supremacy, a recent Twitter exchange between Prime Video and Netflix has caught the attention of millions. Prime Video, the streaming service offered by Amazon, didn’t miss the opportunity to mock Netflix for its recent crackdown on password sharing. This playful banter has sparked a heated debate about the controversial practice and shed light on the diverging approaches of these streaming giants.

The Twitter spat began when Prime Video’s UK Twitter handle responded to a 2017 tweet by Netflix that read, “Love is sharing a password.” Prime Video cleverly crafted a graphic resembling Netflix’s home screen, displaying user profiles associated with an account. In response to the question, “Who’s watching?” Prime Video’s account fired back with a taunting answer, stating, “Everyone who has our password,” accompanied by a heart emoji. Since the tweet was posted, it has garnered over half a million likes, quickly becoming a social media sensation.

Netflix’s motivation behind the crackdown on password sharing stems from internal research that suggests a significant number of households, potentially up to 100, engage in this practice. To address the issue, Netflix has implemented a new policy termed “paid sharing,” which has already been rolled out in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, and now the United States. Under this policy, subscribers on the $15.49 tier, Netflix’s most popular plan, will have to pay an additional $7.99 for each person sharing their password.

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Netflix’s strategy includes not only the crackdown on password sharing but also the introduction of a cheaper, ad-supported subscription tier last fall. Industry analysts predict that these two initiatives combined have the potential to generate substantial additional revenue for the company in the coming years. This is particularly important as Netflix faces challenges such as subscriber saturation in certain regions and increased competition in the streaming market, which it once dominated.

In contrast to Netflix’s strict approach, newer competitors in the streaming industry have chosen not to limit password sharing. These rivals, following in Netflix’s earlier footsteps, prioritize acquiring a larger user base and market share, deferring revenue recovery to a later stage. Prime Video, as part of Amazon’s broader Prime subscription plan, which offers benefits like free shipping, has been more flexible in allowing adults to be added to a household’s Prime account.

The Twitter exchange between Prime Video and Netflix provides an interesting insight into the competitive spirit of these streaming giants. Prime Video’s snarky response on Twitter stands in stark contrast to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ previous tweet in 2021, where he praised Netflix’s popular series “Squid Game” as “impressive and inspiring.”

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This banter not only showcases the fierce competition in the streaming industry but also raises questions about the ethics of password sharing and the varying strategies employed by different streaming platforms. As the battle for dominance in the streaming market continues, viewers eagerly await the next move in this thrilling competition.

Trevor Decker
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